Fox n Forests - Xbox One Review
Quick Glance: Fox n Forests
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One (reviewed), Switch, PC
- Players: 1
- Achievements: Yes
- Retail Price: $19.99
High Level Premise – Action/Adventure platformer
Graphics/Style – 2-dimensional pixel animation in the vein of SNES and Neo Geo platformers
Music/Soundtrack – The soundtrack takes a lot of inspiration from the 16-bit era, using sounds similar to “A Link to the Past”
Story – Play the role of Rick the Fox as he uncovers an evil plot to bring about a deadly 5th season to the world
Replay-ability – Moderately High – A large number of collectibles are hidden throughout the game, making the player revisit each level on numerous occasions
Time Commitment – 8 to 15 hours
Value – Moderate: While there isn’t a massive amount of content within the game, there’s certainly a healthy dose of nostalgia to be found in this solid package
Favorite Element – The upgrade system is simple and rewarding!
Crowd-funded on the Kickstarter platform in 2016, Bonus Level Entertainment’s Fox n Forests is a love song to platformers from the 16-bit heyday. Every detail from the hand-crafted pixel art to the to the throwback sounds of the SNES make this adventure a healthy dose of nostalgic comfort food. While the game could have been a bit longer, Fox n Forests offers a worthwhile trip back to a time when games were simple, yet begging to be explored at every angle.
Make no mistake, Fox n Forests attempts to recreate the magic of the platformers we played growing up in the 90’s. Every visual detail screams SNES, often displaying graphics more akin to the highly detailed platformers from the 32-bit Neo Geo, e.g. Metal Slug. Thankfully, this visual style translates beautifully onto an HDTV, which is likely realizing the dream the developers had from the beginning of this project. The retro sound is faithful to this generation as well, oftentimes offering music & sounds that could have been pulled from our favorite classics. One tune in particular sounds like it came straight out of A Link to the Past. Visuals & sound are executed well, and will certainly resonate with the audience.
Collecting coins from fallen enemies is a must in Fox n Forests, as the currency helps Rick the Fox progress in a number of ways. First & foremost, they can be spent on securing checkpoints that are scattered throughout each level. Given the difficulty of this game, they can be a worthwhile investment. Coins also allow Rick to purchase upgrades, including new moves, heart containers, and magic upgrades. For players who fancy a good old fashioned grind, you can return to any level as often as you desire to collect and boost your character. Crystals can also be obtained throughout each level as well, which recharge Rick’s mana from using magic and changing the seasons.
Fox n Forests has a world that is loaded with secrets to uncover. The sheer number of hidden areas to unveil will keep you returning to previous areas quite often as you progress through your journey. Obtaining new magic allows Rick to access areas in previous levels that weren’t initially accessible to him. This added element of exploration drives up the replay value, giving the player a reason to continue their search for collectibles long after they’ve completed an area. Many of these secret areas are hiding Magic Seeds, which Rick will need to access new levels on his quest.
While the game lies on the short side, Fox n Forests offers a wholesome trip down memory lane for gamers looking to tackle that nostalgic itch. From its beautiful pixel art to the retro-inspired soundtrack, this is a game that successfully captures the magic of a generation long ago. Sadly, the game does not contain a platinum trophy on PS4, which is particularly upsetting given the number of collectibles to be found. Fortunately, this oversight will not deter too many from giving this gem a chance. Fox n Forests does so much right in its execution to become a classic alongside the games that inspired its existence.